Date: January 17, 2023
Iran (MNN) — Iran targets the West in a tit-for-tat response to heavy sanctions, executing a British-Iranian citizen and sending a Belgian aid worker to prison. Critics accuse Iran of using prisoners and death threats as bargaining chips with the West.
Meanwhile, the United Nations accused Iran of “weaponizing” its death penalty following last week’s hangings. The murders may have paused the protest movement, but Heart4Iran’s Program Response Manager, Nazanin Baghestani, says unrest won’t stop. There’s too much anger.
“Youth are angry and want to come out and yell and protest,” Baghestani says.
“During the midnight [hour] when it’s quiet, they open the window and shout from the houses: ‘Death to Islamic regime! Death to Khamenei!’”
This is the most significant movement to threaten Iran’s regime since 2019. Known as “Bloody November,” police killed 1,500 anti-government protestors in November 2019. Compared to that uprising, today’s protests have a chance to succeed.
In these protests, “people are united; they all want the same thing,” Baghestani says.
“They do not want reformation. They want the regime to collapse and completely give them freedom.”
Fear and anger are two sides of the same coin in Iran. “The government raids the houses and tortures” people, Baghestani says.
“The fear is paralyzing some people. Fear is a horrible thing.”
Heart4Iran’s call center offers the hope and peace of Christ. “When they call in, we give them strength; we encourage them,” Baghestani says.
*Name withheld for security purposes
Header image courtesy of SalamPix/ABACA/picture alliance via Heart4Iran.